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With the electrifying tales of 15 survivors of catastrophic human cruelty at its narrative core, Unspeakable Truths & Happy Endings resoundingly illuminates both the necessity and difficulty of compassionate, sensible listening to survivors' tales of trauma.The book journalistically explores the affects of survivors's stories on compassionate listeners -- a group thatWith the electrifying tales of 15 survivors of catastrophic human cruelty at its narrative core, Unspeakable Truths & Happy Endings resoundingly illuminates both the necessity and difficulty of compassionate, sensible listening to survivors' tales of trauma.The book journalistically explores the affects of survivors's stories on compassionate listeners -- a group that includes therapists but that also includes friends, family, and even survivors themselves as they work and re-work the realities of their own experience. Along the way, the book addresses the flip side of compassionate listening; squabbles about victimhood and recovered memory. The book concludes that, as thinking and caring inhabitants of a menacing world, we must all learn to hear unspeakable truths. At the same time that we risk accepting the truths about violence and degradation that survivors' memories hold, we must reasonably engage critical thinking when memories of violence and degradation stretch the limits of our credulity. We owe it to survivors to listen compassionately; we owe it to ourselves to listen prudently....

Title : Unspeakable Truths and Happy Endings: Human Cruelty and the New Trauma Therapy
Author :
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ISBN : 9781886968059
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 226 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Unspeakable Truths and Happy Endings: Human Cruelty and the New Trauma Therapy Reviews

  • Samo Podoboljub
    2018-11-17 19:08

    The book, awarded Outstanding Academic Book award by American Library Association's Choice magazine in 1999 (See more reviews of the book at the author's website http://www.rebeccacoffey.com/uthepage...), is written by a woman's voice, journalist Rebecca Coffey . She uses a narrative approach to show why is it that trauma so often seems "unspeakable", "indescribable" to its survivors (victims). She also provides an answer that it is a response by others who were supposed to listen to the truth, which makes it "unspeakable" (even though shutting down of Broca area in the brain, which happens when survivors are reminded of trauma, doesn't help them to speak up either). In another words: "(...) this is more than the cliched 'giving victims a voice'. Coffey examines why we (the public in general, and therapists in particular) are reluctant to hear heart-wrenching stories, whether the voices are those of a Holocaust survivor, or of a mother whose two sons were murdered in separate incidents, or of a woman who was gang-raped by 27 men after being forced to watch a dog burned alive, or of a woman brutally and repeatedly raped by her father, and especially we do not want to hear the agony of Vietnam war veterans."The subject presented by another classic written by Judith Herman, who did it in a more academic fashion Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, is approached from another angle by Rebecca Coffey as the following book reviews written by experts testify: "(...) this book is powerful! (...) Even those who read a great deal on the subject of trauma will be shaken by this book. And because of its raw honesty and integrity (...) belonging in the same category with Judith Herman's Trauma and Recovery (...) Rebecca Coffey makes her reader not only learn, but emotionally learn, i.e. re-experience the inner force which pushes everybody towards the denial and even towards our siding with perpetrators, not victims, despite all the intellectual knowledge of evidence, or better put because the unspeakable strength of the evidence. It is a book that is not written from the victim's point of view, nor from the therapist's, but from the journalist's point of view. It is a book that has a potential of transforming a reader, silent bystander, into an articulate, compassionate, and committed witness.